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Recording Roll20 games

roll20 recording

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#1 ScaleGraze

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:17 PM

Hi all,

 

My group has started to disperse geographically, so we have decided to start runninng games online (through the roll20 app in Google+).  In the test run that we did a few weeks back, we 'broadcast' the meet-up so that it saved to my Youtube Channel and then ripped the audio from that.  Is there an easier way of recording the audio for the session? I know a number of the community are using Roll20 or have used its precursor at some point... How do you go about this?

The other thing that I noticed is with the Google+ video, it did not record the visual from the roll20 app, but just the video streams from each of the players.  Again, any advice to help improve this system would be greatly appreciated (or advise a different one).

 

Cheers,

 

Tim


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#2 lordof1

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 02:03 AM

Can't be much help with this one, I'm afraid, as we only record the audio. I'd be very happy to tell you how I do that, if you're interested.
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#3 Thing

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:05 AM

@Hal is recording our games, using a 2nd computer logged into the hangout and recording the audio it "hears", I believe


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#4 Hal

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:09 AM

I record the session to an additional recording machine logged into the Hangout. I screencapture it using Screencast-O-Matic and then save it as an MP4 to upload to YouTube. I then use Amadeus Pro on my MacBook to open it as an audio file, fiddle it a little, add an intro and then save it as an MP3.

 

Hope that helps :)

 

Hal :hal:


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#5 Skryme

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:28 PM

Our group recorded our roll20 sessions with a program called Xsplit.  Either the GM or a player would log into google hangouts /roll20 and just click on the record button on their PC.

 

 Everything they saw on their PC session would be recorded to your choice of either FLV or MP4 file.  Then we would clean up the audio or video in Windows Movie Maker Live or edit audio in Adobe Chorus. Clean it up a bit, tack on an intro, and upload to Youtube.  It worked pretty well.  The only downsides were  (1) If you record from the GM computer, viewers will be able to see the monsters hiding around the corner and the entire map.  It could ruin potential surprises.  So it may be better to record from a player's perspective.  And (2) If you choose to use the background music feature, be very certain how loud it sounds in the recording.  It's often much louder than you think.  We had one session where I added fight music that was nearly as loud as the voices of the players.  I had to do some serious cleanup in Adobe Chorus to eliminate the background music and keep the voices clear.


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#6 GKahla

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 08:02 PM

Unless I can find a new gaming group out here, I'll have to fall back on the Hangouts / Skype options.


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#7 ScaleGraze

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:27 PM

Fantastic!

Thanks everyone, you got me onto screencasting software.  Open Broadcaster Software is the one I went with, having played around a little bit, it seems to do everything that I need, and for the price of free... I'm yet to find out what it will do when subjected to a 4 hour recording session :)

Let me know if you have had any problems with it, I'll report back if it turns out to be a dud.


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#8 Lockhart

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:56 PM

I haven't tried recording video, but for Curse of the Crimson throne, I have Adobe Audition running in multitrack mode, one set to record my mic, the other set to record from the stereo mix. Lets me adjust both to acceptable audio levels. Mostly though, audio wise, I think the best thing you can do is make sure everyone has a decent recording set up. A decent USB mic, and headphones or something to make sure the speakers don't get picked up by the mic. I need to convince the twins to rig up a better set up. Oh the audio editing I do to cut out echo and noise that the listeners will never know about.

That being said...I wonder if I should ask what interest there would be for YGG video casts for the games that are done on Roll20. *thinks about the additional editting* *shudder*
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#9 Hal

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 07:20 AM

I agree with Lockhart there - the audio is only as good as the weakest input and if someone has a crappy mic it is going to be bad no matter what you do with it in post processing.

 

If you edit the stuff for content then the videos will add an extra layer. I do not usually edit for content so it is rarely an issue for me. You could release the video raw and then tweak the resulting audio. If you have Audition 3 you will need a plugin to import some video file formats as audio files. Version 2 was much better. I am now using Amadeus Pro on the Mac because it does that stuff natively.

 

Hal :hal:


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#10 Thing

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 03:35 PM

Also of note if  you play on google hangouts, google is in the process of rolling out upgrades to HD quality.  So if you are having issues with google hangouts, bandwith, etc. you might need to scale down the size/quality of the video.

http://arstechnica.c...-to-vp8-webrtc/


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#11 Dr_Jomster

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 07:50 AM

Hmmm... Those comments about poor mics might have something in them you know. I tried using my phone's earphone mic for a bit and it wasn't great tbh.

#toptips
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#12 Hal

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 09:22 AM

I now use a standard headset to listen and have a Blue Snowball iCE for the audio. Blue make great mics. I think Lockhart uses a full blown Blue Snowball.

 

I also hear good things about the Blue Snowflake if you were looking for something smaller to use with a laptop.

 

Hal :hal:


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#13 BigJackBrass

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 09:28 AM

I've been using the mic built into my webcam, which is better than expected but I ought to change. There's a Blue Snowball sitting right next to me and it's far superior (bought it from Paul of Cthulhu, as it happens!) but I never seem to get it placed in a convenient spot on my crowded desk; tends to be too close to the PC fan.


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#14 ScaleGraze

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

Hmm, it is a bit of a conundrum, but with the audio quality, it seems that the online play is easier to listen to than the sessions that we have recorded via the iRiver.

I'm currently trying to improve the quality of sound for the sessions that I've uploaded so far.  I found the files that I had 'processed' were significantly worse than the raw files.  I have reduced the processing, but there is still more of a hiss in the background for the 'processed files'.  Currently I am using Audacity, inserting the intro bit increasing the sample rate (for the intro) and giving it a slight negative amplification then exporting them as an mp3.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm loosing quality in the export process.

Any ideas what I can do to improve it rather than just uploading the raw files?


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#15 Daniel

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 06:56 PM

Check the Bit Rate of the .mp3 file you're exporting -- iirc we used to use about 1800 with the old Tropis audio, but as I don't have any of it at hand I could be well off with that memory.  Also, and I apologize if I'm teaching you to suck eggs here, but make sure that all your editing work is done in .wav and not .mp3.  The former is a lossless format so you won't lose quality with every edit.  The latter is a much smaller file, hence being perfect for uploading.


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#16 PrestoJeff

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:15 PM

Are you using a mic (built-in or plug-in) on your iRiver or just straight line-in? If the former, take a 10-second recording of just silence, then use that for Audacity's noise reduction effect.  It makes a tremendous difference on the recordings we do.

 

Also, what's the input bit rate and frequency on the iRiver?  I think we're doing 48 kHz at 128 kbps in stereo (remember Nyquist's theorem, you need to sample at double the highest frequency you want to capture). Our MP3s are exported at 64 kbps stereo (constant), except for Masks of Nyarlathotep which needed 80 kbps stereo (constant again).


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